Every day, your heartbeats about 100,000 times, pumping 23,000 liters of blood around your body. Your blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to every corner of the body while carrying away unwanted carbon dioxide and waste products. All of your organs rely on your heart to deliver what they need to continue working efficiently. Without the heart, your organs would fail. This is why the heart is ultimately, the essence of human life.
Oxygenated blood leaving the lungs is pumped by the left side of the heart to the rest of the body. Blood enters the left atrium through the pulmonary veins. The left atrium squeezes the blood into the left ventricle. The muscles surrounding the left ventricle then force the blood out of the heart through the aorta, which splits into different arteries supplying our whole body with oxygenated blood.
- Give up smoking – it’s one of the best things you can do for your heart
- Get active – exercise everyday can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, plus it boosts your mood and reduces stress
- Look after your weight – being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease
- Eat plenty of fiber – fiber can lower your risk of heart disease. Try to eat at least 30g every day. High fiber foods include apples, broccoli, carrots, wholegrains, cereals and beans. To get started at breakfast, eat a ½ cup of bran cereal, which contains 8.8 g of fiber
- Cut the fat – reduce the amount of saturated fat you consume, as it can contribute to high cholesterol levels. Check out our blog on heart healthy fats
- Get 5-a-day – eat at least five portions of fruit or vegetables every day
- Cut back on salt – too much salt can increase your blood pressure. Adults should consume no more than 6g of salt per day
- Eat more oily fish – mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon are a good source of omega-3 fats, which help protect the heart from heart disease